Fight Aging! was inaugurated at the end of January 2004, a dark age of the distant past that we shining folk of this new era barely recall. Tempus fugit. For all this great passage of time, the Fight Aging! mission remains as I have described it in past years. Constancy is still regarded as a virtue in some quarters, I am told.
A conversation is presently taking place on the topic of healthy life extension, although it may not always look like a conversation in the traditional sense. It wends its way throughout human interactions and publications; articles, magazines, websites, blogs, actual physical conversations, letters public and private. It is a single pathway in the great marketplace of ideas and culture.
Sometimes our conversation is hard to find, however. ... someone has to be talking on topic to keep the conversation growing, to avoid lapses in which newcomers might miss the party - hence the existence of Fight Aging!
Somewhere along the way, I started to use Fight Aging! as a part of my own efforts to better educate myself on the biochemistry of aging, the state of modern biotechnology, and work taking place on longevity science. If the earlier posts contained more advocacy than science, the last couple of years have been fairly evenly divided between those two topics. But the archives have grown large indeed - somewhere in the vicinity of 1800 posts - and almost every topic related to engineered longevity that I consider useful or interesting has been touched on in some way. Indeed, six years of writing has generated more than enough material to surprise me on a regular basis by what turns up in the Fight Aging! archives. Memory is the first thing to go, or so they say.
So is all this effort getting us anywhere? That is an interesting question, and one that is a challenge to answer. My visibility into the reach of Fight Aging! is limited to what I hear and the statistics on traffic I gather, neither of which are particularly reliable in and of themselves. From what I know, however, I am reasonably certain that readership has remained constant over the past couple of years. On the one hand, talking in detail about fairly complex scientific research is an excellent way to drive people away. On the other hand it seems as though there should be an increasing level of interest in engineered longevity - even if only from those folk who are looking for age-slowing pills and drugs as a result of increased publicity for the search for calorie restriction mimetics.
My analysis is that Fight Aging! has ossified a little as a pillar (one of many modest pillars) of a forward-looking longevity science community that is not growing very fast. I'm starting to lean towards the present Methuselah Foundation view that working to greatly expand the community of supporters is presently as important as fundraising initiatives.